The buildup of plaque and cholesterol in your arteries causes restriction of blood flow that can be detected in your feet by a trained practitioner. There are two pulses in your feet, and by checking these, your podiatrist can determine if there is adequate blood flow not just to your feet, but to other arteries. PAD (peripheral artery disease) can cause damage to your feet and hands, and may lead to amputation in extreme cases. PAD often is accompanied by CAD (coronary artery disease), and patients with both are at serious risk for major heart disease complications.
Doctors can also detect PAD using the ankle/brachial index screening test, which takes several blood pressure cuff readings from different points on your legs and arms. Comparison of these results and indication of a ten percent or more difference may be indicative of PAD.
Some other symptoms of PAD include leg pain when walking that is known as claudication. PAD can often be successfully treated by eliminating smoking and adopting a heart healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fatty meats and alcohol.
It’s important to take signs of peripheral artery disease in your feet very seriously, since it can be an early indication of heart disease. The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment in our offices at 212-845-9991.